15 questions nonprofit boards need to answer

Board work can feel so complicated. Or unclear. In my book, Make your board dramatically more effective, starting today,  and in my blog posts, I try to simplify this work whenever I can.

In my last post, Three Goals of Nonprofit Boards, I shared three goals that I feel are essential for all boards:

  1. Community betterment
  2. Wise stewardship
  3. Excellent Board Practice

Today I’m sharing 15 questions nonprofit boards need to answer to move toward achieving those goals -five for each goal. (I’m cheating a bit, some of the questions are multiples).

Community Betterment Questions

  • Who are we accountable to and how do we demonstrate our accountability?
  • What do we know about our community and its needs?
  • What are the results we are willing to commit to? By when? At what cost?
  • What do we believe will make the change we want to see [theory of change] and how will we go about achieving it?
  • How do we know that we are accomplishing  what we set out to achieve?

Wise Stewardship Questions

  • What capacity, resources, skills and knowledge do we need to achieve our desired results?
  • How much will this cost and how will we fund it?
  • What does health look like for our organization?
  • Are there other ways to structure our organization that also increases the effectiveness of our community to achieve its mission?
  • Do we have the leadership we need?

Excellent Board Practice Questions

  • What values are we unwilling to compromise?
  • How does this board add value to this organization -what are we responsible for as a group and as individuals?
  • What skills, knowledge, attributes and competencies do we need in the board and its leadership and who has it?
  • How will we make decisions and structure our work?
  • How do we know that we are accomplishing what we set out to achieve?

What questions is your board asking itself? I’d love to share them with my readers?

You can find this in a condensed version here The Work of a Nonprofit Board

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